Creating Family Harmony

Creating Family Harmony

by Lynn Louise Wonders

Let’s face it: When the family is all together during the holidays on long car rides to Grandma’s house or cooped up in the house when the weather is cold and wet, the circumstances are ripe for conflict to arise.  Here are some tips on how to defuse conflict and create greater family harmony:

Everybody take a breath!

I know, it sounds so ridiculously simple how could it possibly work? Well, the family that breathes together finds peace together. Designate someone in the family as the breath expert and let her/him learn how to do this simple breath exercise and then teach and lead others to do it together. Practice together when you’re all calm and in good spirits so when tension arises you’ll all be prepared to pull this tool out of the tool belt.
1. Sit up or stand straight to ensure ample lung capacity.
2. Breathe in through the nose to the count of 5 allowing belly to expand with the in-breath.
3. Hold breath in for count of 2
4. Breathe out through the nose to count of 5 allowing belly to contract in toward spine as breath is pressed out
5. Hold breath out for count of 2
6. Repeat 4 more times and consider closing eyes while you breathe to keep focus.

Sing instead of Yell!
This is a tried and true  trick and though my own kids roll their eyes when I do this it WORKS like a charm! When you feel temperatures rising break out in song… You need not be a singer for this; in fact, if you have a terrible singing voice all the better. Good ole jolly holiday tunes will do the trick! Invite everyone to join in but even if they don’t keep on singing. It will defuse the tension and likely get some laughter out of the most sullen of your family members.

Veggies and protein I get this information from my own family doctor. Be sure you and your family are eating ample vegetables (the green leafy kind – french fries don’t count) and lean protein sources at every meal possible. With all the sweet treats of the holiday season, sugar overload is often a major contributor to family discord, cranky moods and overall irritability.

Naps are not just for babies. Borrowing from the hora de siesta of many Latin American countries, this is a really great idea. The holidays are an ideal time to declare family naptime.  Establish an hour of silence and encourage everyone, regardless of age to turn off all electronic devices and lie down, rest, read a book. It’ll recharge batteries and rejuvenate moods.

Happy Holidays to your family and here’s to holiday harmony!